Taronga Zoo has revealed just how five lions managed to briefly escape from their enclosure at Taronga Zoo in Sydney this morning.

In case you missed this morning’s madness, a ‘Code One’ alert was triggered earlier today after the animals managed to escape, with a probably frightened construction worker making the discovery.

Now, the zoo has said that a dodgy fence had led to the lions’ wild escape, with “digging marks” near the enclosure becoming the focus of the investigation.

“An initial review of this morning’s incident has confirmed that an integrity issue with a containment fence enabled five lions to temporarily exit their main exhibit,” Taronga said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon.

“The lions are now in a back-of-house holding area while a full review continues. A full report will now be prepared for the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

“Keepers and vets report all lions are doing well. Taronga Zoo remains open and is extremely grateful to its staff and the community for their support today,” the statement concluded.

Amid the escape, Taronga Zoo staff were urged to retreat to “safe havens” as the search for the lions started. Thankfully, no injuries occurred to any of the staff or guests.

“All persons on site were moved to safe zones and there are no injuries to guests or staff,” a Taronga Zoo statement read this morning. “All animals are now in their exhibit where they are being closely monitored.”

Sydney couple Dominique and Magnus Perri, who was staying at the zoo’s Roar and Snore program with their children Lucas and Oliver, told Sydney Morning Herald about the terrifying moment they learned of the animal’s escape after being woken up by an alarm and zookeepers rushing to their tent at 6.40 am

“They came running into the tent area saying, ‘this is a Code One, get out of your tent and run, come now and leave your belongings’,” Magnus said.

“We had to run to this building, it was only 50 or 70 metres. They counted us, then locked the door. They told us they have this sort of training every now and then, but then we heard on the radio ‘They are still outside’, so we realised something was out there, and they said, ‘It’s the lions’.”

Despite the undoubtedly terrifying ordeal, Magnus added that the staff were “great”.

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